HARARE (Xinhua) — Two Parliamentary portfolio committees on Monday begin public consultations on the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Bill which seeks to promote ease of doing business in the country and establish a single interface for investors by providing a one-stop investment center.
The center shall have representatives of entities that play a role in the licensing, establishment and operationalization of investments.
The bill also seeks to create an agency to replace and take over the functions presently entrusted to the Zimbabwe Investment Authority and the Special Economic Zones Authority and the Joint Venture Unit in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
The Portfolio Committees on Industry and Commerce and Foreign Affairs and International Trade will be on the ground till Friday where members of the public, interested groups and organizations will present their views on the bill for inclusion in the committees report to the National Assembly when the bill comes up for debate.
The one-stop investment center will have representatives from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, the Environmental Management Agency, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Companies Office, National Social Security Authority, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, State Enterprises Restructuring Agency and specialized investment units and other relevant line ministries.
The bill was gazetted on April 5, 2019.
Among other functions, the bill enjoins the State to treat foreign investors fairly and equitably and guarantees that the property of investors will not be expropriated.
Where the property is expropriated for a public purpose, the expropriation should be done in accordance with the law, in a non-discriminatory manner and a payment of effective compensation.
All laws, regulations and policies that affect investors should be made public promptly, while the free inward and outward transfer of funds will be provided for. The bill also lays out circumstances where such transfers may be prevented or delayed, for example in a bid to protect the creditors of an investor and in order to assist financial regulators or law enforcement.
Investors will also be called upon to respect the country’s laws and to desist from environmentally unfriendly practices, maintain independent accounts and ensure that services and products comply with national and international standards.
They will also be expected to respect cultural heritage and custom.